African Governments must Demand Climate Justice—VALD Ghana

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The Vision for Alternative Development, Ghana (VALD Ghana), and its partners have tasked African governments to hold Big Polluters accountable for fueling the climate crisis and causing damage to the African continent.

According to VALD Ghana, and its partners, the harm and damages caused by these big polluters are far worse than the benefit they offered to the African continent.

For decades, Big Polluters like Exxon, Shell, and others have spent billions of dollars denying the climate crisis, delaying action, and pushing false “solutions” at every level while raking huge sums of profits each year.

They hide behind their ‘greenwashing’ Net-Zero advertisement and continue their polluting activities on daily basis.

“Net-Zero” is a scam, which is being used by the majority of polluting governments and corporations to evade responsibility, disguise climate inaction and shift burdens, especially in developing countries like Ghana.

The Executive Director of Programs, Vision for Alternative Development, Labram Musah who made this remark at a media briefing in Accra, re-echoed the need for African governments to hold the industries that have fueled the climate crisis, funded climate denial, and blocked just climate progress liable for the damage they have caused.

“Holding them liable means ensuring that they pay for the loss and damage financially and quit the practices that have driven this crisis in the first place,” he explained.

It is no secret that Africa’s contribution to the current climate crisis is insignificant, yet the continent is the most adversely affected by its consequences. Ghana’s climate has changed.

Stressing that, Africa must reject Net Zero pledges and rather commit to achieving Real Zero-emission reductions.

They create the mess and use Africa as a mitigating ground mainly telling us to plant trees to absorb the carbon emissions.

Africa must embrace and insist on the concept of equity which demands that each country does its fair share in dealing with the climate crisis.

“Similarly, we call on the government of Ghana to ensure that frontline communities affected by climate change and environmental damages, and actions of the extractive industry and big polluters pay for the crisis they have caused,” he added.

 

Vald

 

Below is the full  statement 

 

African Governments must Demand Climate Justice

 

Press Statement: Vision for Alternative Development (VALD Ghana)

by Labram Musah, Executive Director of Programs

 

Good day,

 

The Vision for Alternative Development, Ghana (VALD Ghana), its partners and supporters- The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), Corporate Accountability International wishes to bring to the attention of the government of Ghana, especially officials responsible for Climate actions, all African governments to note that there is an agenda of Global North countries and corporations to continue their neo-colonization of Africa and using Africa as a dumping ground. They create the mess and use Africa as a mitigating ground mainly telling us to plant trees to absorb the carbon emissions.

 

The current global temperature as of now is around 3 degrees far above the ideal temperature of 1.5 degrees according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This incremental warming will get worse if no action is taken to control the activities of Big Polluters and Global North.

 

It is no secret that Africa’s contribution to the current climate crisis is insignificant, yet the continent is the most adversely affected by its consequences. Ghana’s climate has changed.

This evident in the increase in temperature, rise in sea level,  and more frequent extreme weather events. The durations and intensities of rainfall have increased, producing large runoffs and flooding in many parts of the country. The climate change damage situation is not different from Nigeria, Kenya among other African countries.

Africa faces exponential collateral damage, posing systemic risks to its economies, infrastructure investments, water, public health, agriculture, and livelihoods, threatening to undo its modest development gains and slip into higher levels of poverty.

 

For decades, Big Polluters like Exxon, Shell, and others have spent billions of dollars denying the climate crisis, delaying action, and pushing false “solutions” at every level while raking huge sums of profits each year. They hide behind their ‘greenwashing’ Net-Zero advertisement and continue their polluting activities on daily basis. “Net-Zero” is a scam, which is being used by the majority of polluting governments and corporations to evade responsibility, disguise climate inaction and shift burdens, especially in developing countries like Ghana.

 

It is important to note that Big Polluting corporations like Shell have knowingly fueled the climate crisis and evaded accountability for human rights abuses like the devastation in the Niger Delta for decades.

We want to inform polluting corporations and its stakeholders and allies that we cannot afford to fall for the same tricks that they and the rest of the fossil fuel industry have been playing for decades with their deceptive greenwashing schemes, now taking the shape of their meaningless “Net Zero” climate pledges.

 

Africa must reject Net Zero pledges and rather commit to achieving Real Zero emission reductions. Africa must embrace and insist on the concept of equity which demands that each country does its fair share in dealing with the climate crisis.

 

It is time for African governments to hold the industries that have fueled the climate crisis, funded climate denial, and blocked just climate progress liable for the damage they have caused.

 

Holding them liable means ensuring that they pay for the loss and damage financially and quitting the practices that have driven this crisis in the first place. Governments must also be at the forefront of developing a way forward for formalizing collaboration on non-market approaches to scale-up renewables, agroecology, keeping fossil fuels in the ground, and other proven means of preventing and reducing emissions.

 

We completely agree with Hellen Neima, the Regional Director of Corporate Accountability Climate Campaign when she said, “Africa being the host of the upcoming 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27), must take this opportunity to shape what remains of the climate talk by unanimously demanding what is owed to her- Loss & Damage finance, a global goal on adaptation, and a workable non-market mechanism for real solutions.

 

Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo

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